Benefits of sauna bath were explained through a study done by the scientists at the University of Eastern Finland. Previously, the group demonstrated the role of sauna in reducing the risk of coronary disease and sudden cardiac death, hypertension, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Frequent sauna baths have also been linked to reduce risk of respiratory diseases and low CRP levels.
An experimental study was carried out by the researchers working in Sauna and Cardiovascular Health Project that showed the changes taking place in the human body during and after taking a 30-minute sauna bath.
Vascular compliance is the ability of blood vessel wall to expand and contract passively with changes in blood pressure. It is determined from the carotid and femoral arteries before, immediately after and 30 minutes after sauna. These vascular compliance studies carried out in this research have set a novel measurement method in a sauna setting.
In the study, the participants’ mean systolic and diastolic pressures, measured immediately after 30 minutes of sauna bathing, was found to decrease from 137 mm-Hg to 137 mm-Hg and 82 mm-Hg to 75 mm-Hg, respectively. After 30 minutes of sauna bath, their systolic pressure continued to remain low.
It was also found that the heart rate of test subjects increased similar to that observed after medium intensity exercise, and their body temperature rose by nearly 2°C. These findings indicate the physiological mechanisms by which sauna benefits the body.